SCOTLAND’S football clubs were last night warned they will face having to pay out tens of millions of pounds in compensation to supporters and broadcasters if they declare the 2019/20 season null and void due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The SPFL, who suspended all professional football until further notice on Friday in conjunction with the SFA, are set to make a decision on how to proceed this week after receiving guidance from UEFA.

The prospect of the governing body declaring Celtic, who are 13 points clear of Rangers with eight Ladbrokes Premiership games remaining, top flight champions and relegating Hearts, who are four points adrift at the bottom of the table, has divided opinion in the Scottish game.

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However, Dr Dan Plumley, a senior lecturer in sport business at Sheffield Hallam University, believes there will be dire financial consequences for clubs if they choose to write the entire campaign off.  

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“I am convinced that at the minute all the clubs, all the governing bodies, everyone with a vested financial interest in this, will be trying to get this season completed either in the summer or when there is a window to do it,” he said. 

“Financially, that has to be the ideal situation because effectively cancelling a full season does have repercussions.

“Fans will say: ‘We have given you money for a season that you have now declared void – we want a full refund on that because the games effectively haven’t taken place’.”

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Dr Plumley continued: “There have been some rough estimates with regards to TV deals. La Liga have come out and said if the season was to be cancelled now they would be looking at (paying back) £750 million against the broadcasting deal. The Premier League in England would be similar.

“These are just estimates because nobody knows how this is going to pan out, but we are certainly not talking small numbers.”